Tuesday, November 4, 2014

growing into myself

my initial thought is to start this post with "what's wrong with me?' and honestly, I know there is nothing wrong with me, it is just the discomfort of feelings that make me vulnerable, that are scary, that aren't perfect and happy and content, that make me uncomfortable.

the sheer fact that I am inhabiting a body with needs and wants and feelings that I can't control, or even sometimes pinpoint yet, or that is always changing and not perfect - ALL of that, and so much more that I haven't even scratched the surface of yet, it all is just too much to bear sometimes. I can objectively say not ALL the time, but then again, I don't FEEL this way ALL the time, see. so when it comes, when the high begins to face or temper or reality becomes no longer picturesque in my mind, or my thoughts begin to bog me down...


then I try to fill the void.

then, is when I do, and talk, and eat, and run, and keep busy, and fill every waking moment. then is when I avoid being still.

THEN is when I need the MOST to BE STILL.

why is it that I am just so afraid to feel things sometimes? I would say it is because I have been hurt immensely before, but I think - I KNOW - it has more to do with a combination of factors.

my stuff.

my stuff is solely mine. my stuff it is not pretty. it is messy, and dirty, and complicated, and overwhelming, and too much to talk about sometimes, and spans the course of my 34 years, and it is mine.
did you read that correctly? can I say that again?

it is solely MINE.

my stuff is MINE. it is not yours, or my mother's, or my best friend's, or my neighbor's, or my boyfriend's. it is experiences, stories, pain, joy, sorrow, elation, abuse, sensitivity, empathy, LOVE, hate, regrets, wrinkles, broken pieces, and canvases upon canvases of beautiful artwork that was not only painted by me, but it was painted in blood, in a way. only I can sort through the cards coming up, as much as I have a large support network, as much as my friends and family and loved ones want to be there for me, I am the only one who has the key to unlock and walk through the door, who can translate the paragraphs to read and make sense of the story that is happening.'

it is this same concept that is both empowering and debilitating to those who feel even slightly alone, overwhelmed, like they are slogging through muddy waters.

it is this concept i challenge that is vital for those who are depressed, unhappy, struggling with guilt and shame and difficulty, with more emotional awareness than they can handle, with a plate full of as-yet unrecognizable food, to understand. to stop and realize.

because more than anything, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. you have NEVER been alone.

regardless of how alone you may feel. now. yesterday, now, tomorrow, in twenty years. TWO HUNDRED YEARS from now.

we will ALL feel some of these feelings. at some point, to varying degrees, because of a multitude of situations, or due to no situation at all that we can identify.

tragically, the end result of feelings this way, the resolution to this loneliness, the way out of this bottomless pit that is our ability to truly live in the human range of feelings?

for some, it can result in death.

you know, I didn't mean to get on this topic when I started. but I keep thinking of robin williams. his suicide, although unexpected, did not surprise me in the sense of the word. they say, those who can't do, teach. well, his life was a perfect example of that. I obviously pontificate on his situation without knowing him at all, but can speculate on the one topic that all too often has remains unnamed: depression. those who are blessed to experience the intense joy and happiness and sheer elation of LIFE - a life lived in TECHNICOLOR it seems at time - those who are fortunate enough to know the way to other's hearts, souls, minds, the ones who make you laugh, cry, feel, in large part because they are able to truly read and connect with all of those things inside of you, and You, and you, and YOU...we are the people who feel burdened by the responsibility of seeing, empathizing, feeling it almost as it if were ours. and then, carrying it with us to a degree.

I liken it to looking at others' through a feeling kaleidoscope. looking at someone and cutting through the crap, feeling at times like i am seeing something they are not, like they haven't gotten to what i'm seeing yet, but they will.

it has happened more than once.

i know i am not alone.

I've been lucky and gifted enough to meet a few kindred spirits who can identify with how i feel, and it is incredibly tough for them as well.

and, more so, I've recently been blessed beyond my own belief to love someone, to have them love me, who gives me space to feel this way. who knows he can't solve it, fix it, go through it for me...

but that somehow i don't have to go through it alone. that sometimes, all it takes is a hug.

i would say it is incredible, but slowly, one day at a time...

i am starting to believe it is real.

for all of us.

Monday, October 27, 2014

standing up for my Self.

Relentlessly eliminate poison from your life. “We do not have to be nice. We only strive to be kind.”

Show up – even before you’re ready.

Spend time in stillness every day.


There I am, sitting on glorious green grass facing a glorious lake, in glorious weather, on a glorious day. All in the attempt to do all of the above – to spend time in stillness on a day where I have managed to admit to my coach that I have reached an emotional breakthrough, that my career path is headed in the right, albeit unexpected, direction, and broken down in tears three times in the process.


And what was I doing?


What was I doing as my laptop sat open, ready and willing, on the crisply cut lawn, boozy breeze blowing through my ponytail, plump clouds like bright white thought bubbles waiting to be occupied? What was I so intently focused on while the universe provided me with just the right cocktail of natural ingredients for creativity?


Perusing through Facebook and email. On my MEphone. Blinded by the small screen that so frequently becomes our full view, the “big picture”, and the window facing out. Distracting me not only from the universe, the world, the neighborhood which I chose distinctly for its charm and small town beauty, but also from my thoughts, my feelings, my intuitive checking in – my exercise in stillness. The small screen distracts from the still, unnervingly LOUD volume of my quiet, of the silence which holds the important stuff, filters out the noise, and whispers the truth in the shadows, over and over again, until I decide to listen.


That deafening silence, that peace, it is a steady hand in a sea of storms.


It is the one honest friend in a world of yes-men.


It calms the fear.


It is liquid gold.


I say this not to judge, but so that we – I – pay attention. So that I am deliberate.

With intentions.

With actions.

With Words.


Obviously I am trying this myself, not as an exercise or an experiment, but with the intent of developing a habit. A habit to be Here, to be Now, to not be Trying.


To be open and listening. To be aware.


To honor my gut and give it room to relax.




Oh. My. Gosh. YOU GUYS.


I just did something AMAZING.




Get ready.





I had someone wander into my purposely chosen peaceful, quiet setting (with plenty of space to inhabit), likely enjoying the day as well, and proceed to talk on speakerphone until my purposely chosen, quiet setting, was no longer.  I let it go for about ten minutes until I could no longer focus on anything but the distraction. After pondering ways to overcome this on my own – I’ve already got classical music playing so that one’s out – I finally asked her to please move out of earshot as I was trying to get some work done (in Spanish, this is a paraphrase J ). (True to form, politely, natch.) She so kindly obliged immediately and without so much as a hint of disturbance.


I am going to pat myself on the back for this one.


When you’re a people pleaser, as I have been known to be, this is the stuff right here. In a past life I would get up and move, not wanting to rock the boat. Wishing I could drown her out, regretting not bringing headphones. Instead? Instead I exercised my human right to voice my opinion, my discomfort, to defend myself in a kind and courteous manner.


Now, most people who know me would not say I am at ALL afraid or hesitant to voice my opinion, which is truer-than-true. I will shout it from the rooftops if the mood strikes me. However, ebb and flow, right? We aren’t always feeling that brave, especially while we are in a vulnerable spot in our hearts. Ok, while I am in a vulnerable spot in my heart. So I retreat, or underemphasize importance of, or use language completely not mature enough for the subject matter.  This is in my own mind, perceived at some times as endearing and at others as meek, depending on the audience and frankly, on how well they know me, my communication style, and the core of who I am.


Not unheard of, asking for what you want in a polite, adult form of communication. I’m getting better at it on a more consistent basis, as you know your strengths and weaknesses, right? There has been a lot of progress made on that front within the confines of a trusting relationship, and it is spilling over into the other areas of my life.


It is about time.


I have heard countless times, today even, and have it posted at work, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” Doing it anyway moves us all in the direction of the fear. It is amazing that the very thing we are AFRAID to do, the very thing that scares us to safety, is the thing that promises us the most growth.


We build tornado shelters in case we are ever under a tornado watch, to be safer if weather gets life-threatening or risky. Along those same lines, I say we prepare in case where we ARE is exactly where we should be. We then know what the next right thing is in our current situation. In actuality, though, do we ever LIVE in the tornado shelter? And how much of our lives actually go according to plan??



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

these i have loved.

takin' back to the old school...circa 1997, an installment from ms. leone's creative writing class...

these I have loved.

the feel of cold water on hot skin; the
Worried White of my mother's hair; and the
cleansing tartness of cranberry cocktail;
snuggling up in thick, warm, blankets;
planners that work; unbroken wedding vows;
and the soothing darkness under my
eyelids; the textured language of
Hands Held; the indulgent
tears of self-pity; marshmallow clouds framing a
                            cement gray picture;

my father's potbelly; then,
the recollection of Spanish lullabies;
my teddy bear's silent opinion; and the
Familiar, Odorlessness of Home;
I love movie soundtracks; the
tight, helplessness in a lover's embrace;
the story in old,
                                    pink slippers;

and medium, blue, ballpoint people;

Rain's persistent efforts at wiping our sins clean;
my first doll's unconditional love;


the reassuring grip from my father's doubtless hands;
letting go when I am sleepy; and kissing my dog's
Ice Cold Nose; and
Rolling all over new pink carpet;
the chlorophyll in grass;

from vacations I only heard about;
finding money in a jeans pocket; and picking up the phone
to Find Someone there; the
Siren Cry of a newborn;

and the blind warmth
of another person under the covers.

                  All these have been my loves.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

emotional fracking.


1.    frack·ing1



noun: fracking

1.    the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc., so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.

"the governor has halted gas fracking until July"



1950s: representing an abbreviated form of fracturing .


I am digging this. Literally. Had breakfast with a friend this morning, long overdue, who is such a kind, giving, benevolent soul. She is one of those people you can really see when you look at, only she doesn’t realize it, doesn’t know how much of an asset she is to the world and those around her. She is a writer. A creator. An artist.


She helped me think. Reconnect.


We discussed life, families, children, relationships; the fact that they are all difficult and complicated and special, and all that you can do is embrace them and respect that they will be all of these things and that you will at some point love them and hate them and be uncomfortable and challenged and happy. The irony that all of those things change and evolve and end up oftentimes completely differently than we experience them to be, in different places than we thought they would be.


We all come from such different, such individual and unique experiences, and, interestingly enough, we are all the same. Those individual and unique experiences, places, circumstances, they are all different TO us, while being the same THROUGH us. Our feelings, our core instincts, our intuition and joys and fears, those are all common. Yet, somehow, we overlook the importance of acknowledging that not only to others, not only in finding common ground amongst friends, but to ourselves. To honor ourselves as we would honor others, as we would want others to honor our own feelings, instincts, intuition, joys, fears.


The social shell that gets a bad rap comes about it the honest way – by earning it. It is a well-deserved bad-rap. Too many people are out and about, walking around on a daily basis without actually being there. With one foot in the present and the other in the past, future, anywhere but the now, and because of that don’t realize we have all been where they are. If I haven’t, we most definitely have. There is no reinventing the wheel of human experience, of human emotion, of human behavior,

And, for that purpose, I think of our combining these, our finding the common ground, emotional fracking. So long we have worked to fill, and cover, and mend our existing fissures, cracks, flaws, when what I believe we should do is entirely the opposite. What I want the world to embrace is the concept of fracking ourselves. Pulling apart our “existing fissures”, our cracks, our flaws, blowing the roof out of our shelters (see: social persona) and exposing those very same things that we have been working so hard to hide. Then, and only then, will we have the ability to extract the value, the richness, the beauty, than exists in all of it. When we deconstruct, when we dig up the secrets we have worked so hard to bury, it is those secrets, those bodies, those flaws, that will set us free. That which we keep hidden is the thing that binds us, chains us, to unhappiness, to discontent, to settling for less than what we want. It is that shame that lulls us into thinking we are worth less than what we are, because inherent in that are our internal voices – the not-so-nice-ones, to put it mildly – the ones that tell us all of those negative messages we hear, consciously or not, and that shape how we talk to ourselves, to others, and ultimately, how we view the world.


Think about how liberating, how absolutely freeing it would be, to lift the veil on that? I like to imagine the worst-case scenario. What is the worst that could happen? That way, I am prepared (or at least that is what I tell myself), and I can at least imagine how that would make me feel.

The worst here, the very worst, is that you will feel alone. That NO ONE – imagine this for a second: NOT ONE SINGLE SOUL IN THE HISTORY OF TIME – has ever felt the same way that you have.



Go back and read that sentence again.



If – BIG IF – that were to be true, how would you feel? Alone? Ashamed? Vulnerable, maybe, naked?



How many of those are you already feeling?


Wait, you say, but then everyone would know that I was feeling that way! Oh, the shame!! And to that I counter, who is everyone? I think it is important to share things – ask anyone in my life. I am a TALKER. THAT IS NO SECRET. And a singer, a crier, a loud laugher, a big smiler, my facial muscles move incredibly easily, making my face a pretty good gauge of my feelings. Botox would do me a disservice, but would probably lessen the burden on those who come in contact with me and prefer not to have to witness so much FEELING.

I get it. Truly, I do.

I am not suggesting you disrobe and expose your emotional streaker tendencies to everyone you come in contact with. I am, however, gently prodding all of us to share more. To, at the very least, begin with yourself. Baby steps. If you cannot acknowledge to yourself that you are not FINE all the time, then what good will sharing it with others do? I will begin by admitting I talk to myself. In the mirror. When, how, and frequency is beside the point. You’re reading my blog, you should know this about me if you don’t already, and it should come as no surprise. I am all about doing what is encouraging for your SOUL. I am an avid proponent of Living Out Loud, to the extent you need to, want to, or can handle it. Embracing ourselves is just, if not more, important as embracing others. In fact, embracing ourselves more fully allows us to be kinder, gentler, more compassionate, understanding, to realize that others are battling their own demons, and that theirs may seem or feel or be just as tough for them as ours are for us.


And that they deserve to be equally as gentle, as forgiving, as PROUD of themselves, for the level of emotional fracking they may be doing.




Pull hard, and passionately, with a fervor for what you will uncover and an excitement of what fears it will unearth. What fears you will get to toss out and debunk.


And then.


Then we, you, I (let me speak for myself, here), get the privilege of extracting, taking from that the gems that life has wrapped like a man responsible for Christmas gift-wrapping (or like MY gift-wrapping abilities. True story. Ask anyone.), crumbled paper, mismatched tags, bows that fall apart. A mess on the outside, but a true gift on the inside. Invaluable. Priceless. The diamond of lessons in every rock. And, rather than put those away, polish them. Display them proudly on a shelf, a mantle, in a spotlighted glass case where I imagine only very valuable and breakable items and such are showcased.  (I have none of these such things in my house physically because, well, I’m a bit accident-prone. Know your strengths and weaknesses, right?)


These are trophies. These are badges of honor. These lessons, these flaws, these fears unearthed…they are your beauty.




Be Beautiful.


Love you to bits…especially those bits you blow apart.



“I followed my dream and my dream led me to service. I have come to believe that this is how it ALWAYS works. We find the place where our gift and our need intersect. We become bold enough to begin using our gift to heal ourselves. Then the Universe says: HOT DAMN! SHE’S READY! and then immediately issues us an invitation to join the world of giving. The healing become the healers. The dreamers become the servers. Our gifts are used to help others rise.” - See more at: momastery

Monday, October 13, 2014

on bed bugs.

So what to write, Mr. Blank Page. Let me tell you another story.
...this time much older, skinnier, arguably less of a weenie, goes on work trip. Let’s preface this work trip by telling you that girl was burning the candle at both ends – wearing herself extremely thin – and denying, or justifying, as she would prefer to say, the fact that she was doing it. Girl was tired, exhausted is more like it, and questioning a lot of what her life was about. As someone told her recently, she was early to the existential crisis party – arguably the first time she was early to anything, ANYWHERE (she is Cuban, after all, there is a certain badge of pride that accompanies this notion. Plus, at least she’s consistent, right?!). So there she was, early to this party she didn’t necessarily want to be even invited to – she preferred the notion that she would somehow stumble into ignorance-is-bliss at some point in her life, regardless of the fact that she was still waiting for it 34 years in – and a bit conflicted about what it all meant, what her life all means, and what answers she was supposed to come up with in order to make the most of this existential crisis thing that was happening. Unbeknownst to her, on the flip side, her body is sending her not only this mental message, but these not-so-subtle physical messages that she was over-worked, over-tired, and over-stressing herself.

So, girl embarks on this work trip only half-committed and hoping that it will at least give her the opportunity to get some much-needed rest once the all-day marathon sessions are done. Girl arrives in the city (The Big Apple! nonetheless), only to find herself even more exhausted, lacking any motivation for exercise, something that routinely motivates girl to Go! Get ‘em! And discovers herself ridden bed bug/flea bites 24 hours in. Not wanting to create a fuss, she politely asks hotel to switch rooms and they launder her clothing to ensure she feels as safe and comfortable as possible. This is especially good since girl cannot manage to rile herself up from her bed beginning with the second she enters said room. So, if the bed is The Place To Be, you best ensure that it is at the very least free of bed bugs and fleas.


Standards are high.


After a couple of painful, itchy days, she is starting to worry. Her stomach is a wreck, much more so than usual, but she has attributed this to “The Traveling” which easily could do a number on her, and the exhaustion is chalked up, quite appropriately, to not drinking her routine two POTS of Cuban coffee in the morning. That is, after all, how she manages to establish her baseline energy level of “HYPERACTIVE”.

So girl starts to worry. She tries, albeit it not that well, to rest. She is in The Big Apple! after all, so who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that, even if it means pushing through what is arguably the most exhausted she’s felt in quite a long time?!? So girl manages to crawl into bed as late as 10:15 pm on a Saturday in NYC, and explains to herself that is was the walking she did. She is just tired from walking.




Fast forward three days, multiple dizzy spells, wicked headaches, pain she is now jokingly chalking up to kidney failure, and one sick day later, and she decides the doctor’s office is probably a good idea, given that the kidney failure could be possibly serious. Obviously.


She enters her physician’s office, bloated and with awful stomach pain, with a smirk on her face, after changing into a loose dress, which is the only item of clothing she can stand after being in constricting work clothes all day. She jokes with said MD that her flea bites are sending her into kidney failure, and that the Benadryl, calamine lotion, and ibuprofen have yet to help too much, other than possibly launching in the direction of an ulcer. Physician, unfazed by her unparalleled wit and medical prowess, looks at her and says, “I don’t think those are bites at all. I think they’re shingles.”


Whoa. I’m sorry.




Did you just say herpes?



Jaw, meet floor. I hope you get along; I hear said floor is fantastic when you need support. Comes in quite short of a pillar of strength, but definitely will prevent the bottom from coming out.




Now, given that the girl’s baby daddy (see also: ex-husband) is a medical professional in the skin-oriented field, she is familiar with said “shingles”, but to the extent that it is incurable and recurring. Given that she is also surrounded by older family members whose pastimes include worrying, nagging, and talking about ailments,” she is also quite acquainted with the fact that shingles is not commonly associated with individuals of the younger demographic, not mentally, actually physically. Given that said young lady’s digestive system and dental records might as well belong to a tenured AARP member, it is not lost on her that she would manage to develop an affliction associated with those in a much more advanced state of stress and worry. That her body, no matter, would not only chastise her for ignoring and pushing through the oh-so-obvious signs of stress, but physically slap her in the face with the sticker shock of: “Hey! Slow down there, woman! I CAN’T KEEP UP!!”



Welcome to the last three weeks.



I joked, oh have I joked, about needing a pause button, about wanting a vacation, about step back and really, truly, examining what make my life worth living, and how to structure my life so that THAT feeling, those things, ideas, people, take precedence. I have endlessly and tirelessly discussed with numerous women - accomplished, bright, amazing women - this very same idea. We have waxed poetic about what to do about that. Some, the ones that I consider mentors of sorts, have done something about it. They have taken back the reigns.



It is my turn.






I am scared shitless.







Let’s let that statement marinate for ONE second, then run into the face of it screaming, why don’t we? Because I am not only tired, but I am more tired of being bound by fear. By hesitation. By what-ifs. I understand the value of security, the importance of a plan, the desire – the NEED – for security.

When did any of these things a leader make? When did any of these inspire others to do anything but retreat to the unbreakable patterns and path well-trodden from whence they came?


Lord know it has happened to me at least a handful of iterations at this point.

There has been a lot packed into these 34 years.


It’s time to let it out. In all shapes and sizes. So many of you have expressed feeling the same way, on various blogs, social media outlets, to family, friends, in journals. Don’t worry – the biggest message to take from all of it is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. WE ARE NOT ALONE. Embrace that we are not only imperfect, but that the imperfection is our beauty, our lives, our passion – fulfilled or not. Those nooks and crannies are not only what make English muffins delicious, but make us, break us, crack us, and mend us together – BIND us together in this phenomenal human experience.

This is me – proudly flying my freak flag – embracing my uniqueness and weirdness and individuality. Learning – notice I say learning because, well, I’m human, after all – to own and celebrate my idiosyncrasies and be comfortable in the knowledge that those are endearing to the right people. And I am proudly trying to take it only one day at a time.


I challenge and encourage you to do the same.


I hope to help you in this journey. I know you have already helped me.


Much love (and no bed bugs).


Thursday, October 2, 2014

i argue these arrows should point in the same direction.

GO. move in the direction of the failure. give it 100%. fail, learn, and most importantly, grow. grow higher, and stronger, and more than you have ever let yourself previously. grow so intensely that it becomes you to fail, in order to obtain additional growth.

with failure, we re-establish our baseline, we redefine expectations, we reevaluate. we start afresh.

challenge yourself, challenge your idea of failure. use it as a springboard for opportunity. test the notion that you have not failed, but succeeded at walking one step closer in the direction of your dreams, your calling, your personal opportunity.

you are one step closer to recording the Fingerprint of the Soul. your soul.

fail on, my friends.

"life is not about what adversity we face, but is created in how we face adversity."


making out murmuring messages.

i feel on the precipice of something...quite frankly of something great. big, huge, much larger than myself, that is for certain.  i am living in a space that is whispering to me a message of movement, of motion, of breakthrough and enlightenment into something that is so widespread and simultaneously so alienated and unspoken. it is talked about in the recesses of our minds, the bottoms of our hearts, in conversations held in the undisturbed safe spaces between the sheets, with those most intimately associated with who we are, with our fears and weaknesses, with what our souls not only look like, but inherently feel like.

this "traditional" life, "American dream", "career success", work-life "balance"...i am on the verge of chucking these and so many more out the window, to the wayside, in the garbage, and fully embracing the concept of a life worth living. starting from the true meaning of what my life is supposed to feel like and working my way out from there.

you know, when i wrote that sentence...i started to cry.

so much of what we define and measure ourselves by in life starts with a picture, an image, a vision in our heads that has, in the majority of cases been placed there by society, our upbringing, our internal dialogue - likely not our own desires - and in most cases having nothing to do with what we really want from ourselves and our life. and while i was going to associate those images with success and how we measure it, i would be remiss if i didn't acknowledge that not all of those images are successful. some people don't have the blessing of even having "socially" positive goals, or even positive images, based upon experience. whether by upbringing or lack of support, whatever the cause, not everyone believes in themselves, and i will go out on a limb and say that everyone has had at least a moment when they DIDN'T believe in themselves.

but let me step out of these trenches for a second and back into the larger picture i began on.

i am on the verge of chucking the notion of conformity, of everything i have been brought up to value as successful (ok, so everything is going a little too far - kate spade and i will never part ways. she is such a good listener). and it scares the living shit out of me because i am flying by the seat of my pants. it is much easier to write this sentence than it is to look out into the vast abyss of possibilities for doing this and grasp at how tangible that may be. have you ever tried to corral the air? how does one capture the wind?

some recent health concerns have lit a fire under my bottom. (you'll have to excuse my internal editor here, but is that even english?!)

and by recent, you know, i mean in the past week. no pressure.

regardless, when is enough, enough? how long are we going to run this rat race before we hand it back to the rats? how long do we live this way before realizing we've run ourselves ragged for no one and nothing but our own pride? for bragging rights valuable to someone who doesn't really exist?

look at the country, the culture, the American population. how many of us are obese, ridden with health problems, on medication for various ailments? how many of us earn money in order to purchase items that we adorn ourselves with in order to convince others we are happy? do we ever really buy into the notion that we are really happy?? how many times is the dog going to chase it's tail?

how long are we going to sacrifice our health to earn money that can't buy that health back??

i know, i know. i've only covered the basics. cut the small talk!, you say. tell me how you really feel! i am nothing if not good at cutting to the chase quickly...at least in recent months. these questions, these issues, are not simple. there are no answers that are one-size-fits-all. but my point is, if we don't begin to ask these questions, to break down the doors of silence, to open the Pandora's box here, the spiral downward is only going to become steeper, faster, and it's already a fairly slippery slope.

the answers lie nowhere, if not in discussion, acceptance, acknowledgement. the most resounding theme i have seen among smart, articulate, independent, educated, successful, women, is WHAT ELSE?

what else is there beyond this? what is my greater purpose? what else fulfills me?...because the title, the salary, the corporate accolades, the career...those do NOT. those look like fulfillment. those fool OTHERS into believing that i am fulfilled, when i feel EMPTY. i shut down the office, exit the building, enter the parking garage, and drive home to a child who is already asleep, a partner/friends i rarely see, if i have time for them at all, a hobby i don't get to develop.

a LIFE i don't get to LIVE.

when did our lives stop being livable? when did LIFE cease to be about LIVING?

because these women, these people, feeling these things, choking these thoughts down with the foie gras appetizer, chasing them with a glass sauterne...they are not just the individuals i described earlier. they are also thoughtful, caring, generous, empathetic, loving, living beings. these characteristics are just as important - if not more so - as the ones i mentioned above. although they are oftentimes classified as weaker, i would argue that they are in compliment to the above.

i challenge the notion that life is about one thing, about all things, about anything other than what we choose for it to be about. and i, for one, am so absolutely livid that i have, for 34 years, let someone ELSE - society, my family, Disney princesses, who or what is beside the point - dictate what MY LIFE was going to be about, where it was headed, and where it is going. the one outlier in that sentence is the future. i am in the process of taking the reigns back. i am pot committed to nothing short of finding what the purpose to all of this is, to my life is, to my existence. you know the beauty of it? that the answer to that is not simple, not two-dimensional, NOT EVEN STATIC. it is ever-changing, evolving, growing, developing. it is as static as i am, as life is, as i want to make it. here we go - finding ourselves back at the place of CHANGE, that place of CHOICE. what is glorious is that i can choose a lot of these answers, and the crux of it is - there is no choice at all. the situations, the journey, the obstacles, those are all presented to us. we have each faced a litany of trials and tribulations in our lives, it is how we choose to deal with those, which road we embark upon from there, that is SO crucial in shaking out who we are as people, as mothers, as daughters, friends, and professionals...as SOULS.

i am all about challenge. i challenge each of you today. TAKE A RISK. risk, you say? but i'm an accountant, an attorney, a stay-at-home mom...i can't go sky diving! and i'll be damned if i get a speeding ticket for sheer thrill!

nonsense. what i propose is a challenge to your norm, to your way of thinking, to your approach to certain situations. break the mold, go outside the box, FEEL the discomfort. allow yourself to listen to the messages that the universe is presenting you, that life has tried so desperately to gift you with on a daily basis, and give yourself permission to grow. grow, grow like a weed. take a sip of the air, a quick nibble of a passion. swish it around in your mouth, let those flavors marinate, sit on your tongue, in your subconscious, for just a second.

see how quickly you want to let them go.

in my experience, it has truly been a pandora's box. i took a sip, a nibble, dipped my toes in the water. in my case, i CANNOT get ENOUGH. life is challenging me to drink these messages, ingest them so voraciously that i have to force myself to sit back, put the fork down. (if you knew both my appetite and eating habits, this metaphor comes as no surprise. you KNOW how hard that is, personally. moderation, right? ha.) i want to dive in head first, and the challenge is to be calculated about it so that i focus on the next right thing, as both a friend and glennon of  momastery.com so wisely advise. as a type-a, driven woman, who just so happens to be inherently right-brained and impatient (and CUBAN - there go those genetics, again), i want to eat the ENTIRE meal, all at once. well, fellow foodies understand that the beauty is in the savoring, the lingering, the experience of the meal.

is it just me, or does that sound an awful lot like the journey of life?

so here i am. trying my best to enjoy the meal, continue on this journey, feel my own discomfort.

which, by the way, is pretty darn easy today, this week, as i've developed some painful health concerns that stem, ironically enough, from stress, from a weakened immune system. indicators i am pushing too hard, too far.

let me reiterate, for a second, that i write this in no way from any pedestal, but from the floor of the trenches. the best perspective is from experience. i am just unique in that i am a participant and a bystander, simultaneously. know your strengths, right? one of mine is that i am able to interchange those two roles, rather than getting full clarity in hindsight alone, although there is always additional insight on the tail end. it is a gift, in my opinion. i try to find humor in it all.

so, from my home office, trying to "balance" my corporate career with my heart-felt purpose, i will sign off for now. for reasons of clarity, rest, reflection, and most importantly, for health. these conversations, these messages, I've heard them all of my life, if i am honest, but what is most important is how and when i actually listen to what they're saying. life, recently for me, has not so much been whispering sweetly or sternly reminding as it has been screaming these messages at me from every rooftop i walk by.

it is time for action. it is time for reflection. it is time for the next right thing.

god, i pray for the clearest sign as to what that is, what it looks like, what it feels like.

...something tells me that the latter will be the guiding force.

much peace. always love.

Monday, September 29, 2014

personal legends

editorial: i wrote this the other night and thought it too "unfinished" to publish...not too raw, per say, but it just doesn't feel closed. which, when it boils down to it, is my current state of being.

so with that, read on, my friends...

"when a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream." 

-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

it is in amazement that i observe the wonders of the universe on a daily basis; how people, situations, nature, all of it comes together to send a message. understanding that language, speaking that dialect, is absolutely dependent upon perspective, upon personal strength, openness, acceptance, peace.


peace is a good one. a tricky state to obtain - or maintain - for me personally, since it requires stillness. stillness in the figurative sense rather than the literal, although the two are not mutually exclusive, they do not necessarily come as one. they aren't synonymous with each other. I struggle with stillness at times, as do we all I would imagine, as it requires fully accepting the present moment. at the very least it requires feeling the present moment, and the present moment is often tinged with past experiences, joys, sorrows, and expectations for the future. this is not stillness. this association, this search from the brain for similar or like experiences from our mental rolodex, this automatic habit of the heart to seek out like situations, emotional parallels, is a diversion tactic to avoid living, feeling, reality. many times this may serve as a defense mechanism to avoid suffering through something painful, or a warning indicator to caution fully enjoying what is actually happening, but it also prohibits us from seeing things as they truly are. it morphs people, places, and circumstances, which is neither fair to those affected, nor is it fair to me, to you, to all of us.

the inability to be still, to listen to our own heart, steers us in the wrong direction. it leads us astray.

let me speak solely for myself here and not be presumptuous:

it leads me astray.

I know this, thus I try my darndest to keep the communication open. but, see, I shut my heart off for a long time. I suspect many of us have done this, oftentimes without consciously realizing we were doing it. the heart, however, the heart knew, the heart knows that we did it. and so i am working on continuing to show my hear that it can trust me, that i will be there for it in the best of times and the worst of times. that, even in times of sorrow or disappointment, that we will work through ti together and it will never be left behind.

i spent the last two days re-reading the alchemist. a coworker brought it up just as i had noticed it on my bookshelf. not sure I've mentioned this before, but it was time. as soon as i started, it was as if i had not eaten in a year. my heart, my soul, the universe inside of me, they all wanted more. it was as though the world placed it on my nightstand at just the right moment.

interesting how that happens.

i have half-joked that i am going through an existential crisis, that i am questioning where my life is going so as to do it the most justice i can while i am still living it. so as to fully satisfy the greater purpose for why i was given the opportunity to embark on this awe-inspiring, incredibly eye-opening, and so often brutal journey called life. it is said with a twinge of sarcasm so as not to freak out those who aren't ready to embark on their own journey. it is meant more as a reminder to myself that, at the end of the day, that is the ultimate goal i have for myself, that God has for me. i am in search of my own personal legend.

i am closer. i have hunches, feelings. i am actually fairly confident that i am aware of what it is, but i defer not to any sort of confidence within myself, but more so to confidence in that God with align the universe so that it steers me in the direction that is meant for me.

my first inclination was to say "right for me", but that would imply that there is a right and a wrong, rather than the fact that i choose to go down this path. that i choose to follow the signs. that i am consciously trying to operate from that place of openness i spoke so passionately about earlier.

call me crazy, but i am broadcasting this to everyone. ok, not EVERYONE, but many. it is a reminder to myself. it is my own accountability group. i am putting it out there in the universe, without judgment, with implicit faith in the fact that i must take risks, but still maintain an air of caution for those not altruistically motivated.

i know i will encounter difficulty, trials, tribulations.

i prefer to call them lessons.

i hope to be rewarded, but i need not count on anything. i know that, by virtue of embarking on the journey, i already reap the benefit.

i already grow.

that's some pretty existential shit, right there.

much peace,

Sunday, September 21, 2014

let me tell you a story...

let's start this story with a chubby, weenie of a girl that gets shoved to the floor by her best friend in the world. said girl sits, deflated, and begins to cry once the shock wears off, which likely equates to 5 seconds or less. her parents witness this situation from the sidelines, quietly observing the interaction and, upon seeing their only child is wounded, albeit emotionally, they advise what most parents in that situation would recommend - "Go on! Push her back! - only half in jest.

the girl, still wailing from what innocently started as play, continues to cry and fight back, responding the way most children would - "No, I can't! I feel bad doing that!"

no joke.

now. let me clear up a couple of details regarding this situation: spanish was my first language, as my parents do not speak English, so words have been changed as to be more accurate to you, the non-spanish-speaker (yes. i'm talking to YOU). next, this did actually happen, only the girls in the scenario are approximately a year old. how many children have begun carrying empathy and consciousness by age one?

welcome to my life.

let me introduce myself. i was conceived the first time my mother had sex. that should set the tone. nine months later, i was subsequently born and adopted by Cuban immigrants at 12 days old. although my mother loved me dearly, she was the ninth of eleven children and was not on board with raising another child. understandable, really. so they tried to ensure i'd go to a spanish family since my father was Cuban as well. i'd love to say that i'd have been better off being raised by my biological family, but the truth is, i couldn't have asked for better parents. although i don't quite recall when i first realized that, i do remember somewhat always being aware of that.  perhaps it was the fact that they didn't go anywhere unless i was invited, or that i was constantly reminded of how their life was truly complete when i arrived. regardless, the message was clear:

i was special (unique?)

before you start wondering why you purchased an autobiography under the guise it was to motivate you to find your life's purpose, i assure you it was no illusion; we will get there. but you wouldn't take a girl to bed without buying her dinner first, would you? (don't answer that.)

the point is, in order to know where i was headed, i needed to look back on where i had been. not just where i had been; it was vital to recap to myself what i had experienced = perceived or not - what living my life had looked like over the last 34 years. without doing this, i was a collection of memories, experiences, one-offs that coincidentally fell between the birth and death of one individual.

nothing in life happens by chance. if you know one thing about me, know that i believe that.

looking at life this way keeps me digging, keeps me curious, keeps me peeling back layers - which, by the way, get thinner and thinner once you are well-versed at peeling - and turning up new reasons as to why certain things happen.

so back to where i was, before i was able to fully embrace my current place and endorse where i was going, i needed to comb through my experiences, my life, and find the common threads.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

living in colour...spelled the british way to seem more interesting!

there have been so many signs that have been presented to me recently. signs that point in a direction i have only dreamed about, and dreamed about in the secret crevices of my heart of hearts. the dreams that one dares to dream, that lie somewhere over the rainbow.

these dreams are what are making me feel i am living in color, and yet, there is still a layer of fear that i continue to battle. let's be honest, there are multiple layers of fear that i continue to peel away. but can i say that the more that i offer up of myself, share my true, authentic, fully-present self to individuals ready to accept the gift of that, the more i am rewarded. the more i feel overwhelmed at the reaction, the connection, the gratitude i feel from others??  it is that openness, that sharing, that is truly the biggest gift i - or anyone - can give to someone else. it is the very act of sharing what you inherently possess - your heart of hearts, your naked, vulnerable, deliberate person - that resonates. it screams from the rooftops and whispers in the darkness. it is the blind caress in the middle of the night that is instinctive, unpretentious.

it is raw.

...and it is scary.

funny, after writing that down, my first thought is that i tend to often put that in there, the fear, the hesitation, and i wonder why i feel the need to interject that when i am not entirely sure i own that fear. sure, it is scary, but SO WHAT? the more i feed that wolf, the stronger it gets...the greater it is able to fight at winning the war, and if there is one thing i am becoming adept at clawing out of, it is the rabbit hole of fear, of negativity, of impossibility.


i am spiritual. i believe in god, a higher power greater than myself, than this life. faith is a huge part of who i am, who i have become, and who i will grow into...and if there is one thing i know and truly have blind faith in, it is "through him, all things are possible." i know - with more certainty than i would care to admit anything - that whatever it is that i am capable of, that is meant for me, that i can DREAM, and BE and DO, i know that it is ALL POSSIBLE, no double negatives here, just possibility. HUGE POSSIBLITY.

and you know what?!?

here's the best part:

that possibility...that HUGE POSSIBILITY...it is there. it is here.

it is present, and living, and thriving, in ALL of us.

Every. Single. One.

how 'bout dem apples?!? what better news can you receive, can you fully embrace, what better gift can you get than the certainty that whatever you can DREAM, you can DO?!?

now i am not saying it is meant to happen, or that it is the right thing for me, or you, or any of us. i, for example, dream of lying on a beach, after having won the lottery, obviously, and sipping on daiquiris all day while my perfect little blonde children frolic in the sun Coppertone-style. and i eat dessert for every meal without hesitation because it will provide me the nutrients i need to survive and dessert is WONDERFUL. AMAZING. like manna from Heaven itself.

especially ice cream.

in reality, i have not (yet!) won the lottery, live an hour from the beach, and have an alcohol tolerance that would probably prohibit me from imbibing in no more than 3 daiquiris - max (ok, maybe 4). my daughter - the only child i have - is a gloriously dark-haired hurricane of excitable brown curls, flailing limbs, and emotions so prominently displayed on her face that it would be impossible to guess her volume dial is turned to anything but FULL THROTTLE except for just after she wakes and is still slightly sleepy. and that dessert concept? well let's just call that hypothesis something i'm diligently working on with mixed results...except that you can rest assured that dessert not being anything shy of AMAZING? well, i can confirm that with a high statistical degree of accuracy.

especially ice cream.

but i digress.

it is not in the literal sense that we hold endless possibilities, but in regards to our inherent potential to become our true selves. to fully embrace our strengths, our faults, our wins, our losses. the possibilities that are inherent in there being a greater purpose to our existence in this universe, in this world, on this continent. in this state, city, building, moment.

everything happens for a reason. or season. not just people, but places, situations, joys, sorrows. ALL of it is for a purpose, meant to contribute to how we view the world, treat others, treat ourselves. we raise our children to be respectful and kind and brave and caring. and then turn around and cuss someone out for cutting us off.

or so i hear.

just to clear things up, that cussing in traffic story is about a friend..

but that, folks, is what makes this rad, gnarly, phenomenal, heartbreaking journey The Greatest Ride We'll Ever Be On. that is what will keep us sitting in the seat, despite almost getting sick while it is in motion. actually, it keeps us on after we have already gotten sick. the potential of that unknown. the fact that each day provides us an opportunity to start anew, to wash away our past and create our future.

now, the risk-lovers out there are going - sweet, man! while those more risk-averse, the at-least-partially nurtured trait that i am trying to steer clear of, are shaking their heads and tsk-tsking away at the thought that someone would venture out to do anything that is not SAFE, or MANAGEABLE, or PLANNED WELL. i challenge you to fully embrace yourself - your true, inner, secret self - and ask yourself about dreams deferred. dust them off, dig them up, rehydrate those raisins in the sun where potential once lived, and brainstorm, dream, foster a way for them to be incorporated in your life, in a realistic way.

remove the tourniquet and let the blood flow back into that limb you've tried to ignore exists. look for a way, MULTIPLE WAYS, to add that color back into life that has so slowly faded over time.

there is a reason the clichés, the stereotypes, call working women and men, "suits", "drones"...that jobs and companies "suck the life out of you".

it isn't because they are awful. it is because they are not the right fit.

it is because you, me, all of us, have a purpose greater, higher - different, even - than we let ourselves reach for. even see, at times.

i challenge all of you, myself, everyone i come in contact with. i challenge those who choose to be a part of my life, even if in the periphery, to search for that, dig deeper, ask the difficult questions.

or, you know, i will ask you.

lord knows i am still not only searching, but on this crazy ride called life, self-discovery, self-fulfillment.

i am chucking out the window the notion that "social success" and "personal fulfillment" are equal to each other. what that does is equates all of us with things that may not be in line with our heart of hearts, our passions, and our purpose. 

and i refuse to choose one or the other, personally. your choice may be different, but that is the beauty of the journey towards self-actualization: it is yours, and yours alone. it looks different to everyone, and no two are exactly alike.

it is the Fingerprint Of The Soul.

as i try to find a match for mine, to figure what exact combo of loops, whorls and arches it possesses, i discover something new. about myself, about my life, about others. i give of myself and am honored with the gift bestowed upon me by others: the sharing of their own dreams - whether buried deep, actively seeking oxygen, or in the land of the living thriving as a reality.

those gifts, those sacred spaces, those moments where i see others step into the light - oftentimes to their own surprise - that is when their brilliance shines so brightly it feels like staring into the sun. it is the moment we all come alive, even if for a second.

those moments, one after another, are selfishly the gifts i am most grateful for.

those are the foundation, the impetus. they are the building blocks that lift me, support me, propel me towards being fully present - or at least working at it - each and every day.

it is time to live in color.

please join me.

it is insanely worth it.

with love,

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

winds of change

it is amazing to me the saying, "it takes a village..."

all this time, I've tried to do it myself. without help, while outwardly appearing to accept support, but too proud to even take assistance from myself at times.

i feel a change is coming.

it feels as though i am turning a corner. not to jump ahead of myself, i am feeling pretty good. not PERFECT, but pretty good. and i'll take it. i'll actually take it any day of the week, any week, month, season of the year. but regardless, i'll take it. i don't doubt that it has something to do with my accepting help from myself, my baby step in acknowledging that maybe, just maybe, there is something bigger at work here that i can't get a grasp on for a lifetime without outside counsel coming in and doing something to shift a situation that may always be just a tad bit off, a tad bit lacking.

i'm talking about depression. i'm talking about a chemical imbalance.

as anti-medication as i am...as anti-assistance as i am...as much as i ask for help, i am not good at taking it. i'm not always great at admitting that i suffer from the human condition. from fallibility. i am GREAT at admitting it when i am - low and behold - feeling pretty good. but when i have been in the thick of things, my instinct is to hide under the covers, to withdraw, to live in the rain alone until the storm has cleared - because it, too, shall pass.  it is just my plight in life to have to sit through it, right? then, once things have yet again become manageable, i am free to shout from the rooftops how WE ARE NOT ALONE, and that WE SHOULD ALL SUPPORT EACH OTHER, and profess to those who seek solace to BE EASY ON THEMSELVES. PRACTICE FORGIVENESS.

well...ain't that the kettle.

i believe it, though. there is the kicker. it is only recently that i am beginning to truly connect the dots between the fact that if i don't support myself, if i am not easy on myself, if i don't forgive myself...how can i expect to treat others the same way? or if i am able to do that for others, what is it about my own psyche that prevents me from believing that i am worth the same level of love, of support, of self-esteem, that i try to foster in those around me?

enter genetics, stage left.

i have at times refused to acknowledge that i am like my biological family, that i have inherited some of their not-so-appealing traits. genetically, i have a grandfather who was at least at one point a functioning alcoholic, a grandmother who was depressed (god bless her, SHE HAD 11 CHILDREN, who wouldn't be?), and a mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, whom have suffered at least some form of it, even from an outside perspective. bi-polar disorder, etc...the truth is, it's there. and after such a long road for my own survival, after digging myself out my marriage, out of the whole in which i was for almost 7 years, i found myself sliding into another one, a different one, but oddly familiar.

now, though, now i know better. now i know and recognize the signs.

and i choose to change directions. i choose to crawl and fight and claw out rather than keep sliding because gravity dictates that is the way i should go, because dna determines that i am to suffer from this, even in small doses. that means work, that means emotional growth and development, that means awareness and accountability, and intention. that means believing that life doesn't happen to me, but that i play a hand in what happens as well.

knowing that, reading that, seeing on paper that i allow myself to change my path simply because i dictate the quality and integrity and type of person i would like to be and life i want to live...it is incredible how freeing that is. something so simple and unspoken for most...it is as though I've not ever given myself permission to do that, and it is fucking empowering to own that. with god's grace, natch.

i challenge all of you to do it, to love yourselves FIRST. before anyone else. it is so difficult for me to practice, but thankfully, i am in a good place. today. tomorrow, it maybe different, but i won't stop trying.

a friend this morning told me a story about a Jesuit professor she had. he said that "every day, bring your reasonable best". she found it hard to relate, being the go-getting, type-a personality that she is, that we are, and realized later how true that is. some days, our reasonable best is 100%. other days, our reasonable best is only 70%, or 40%. whatever that percentage may be on any given day, bring it. OWN IT. and then, at the end of the day, rejoice in having brought your best. don't chastise yourself for not having brought 100% when you only had 40% to give that day. you brought that 40% with all of your might, and in that you can be proud of yourself and rest easy. it is futile to try for 100% when it is not there to give, and realizing that is the first step. kindness, empathy, compassion, they are worth the most when we can gift ourselves with those things and then, only then, pass them on to others wholeheartedly.

gracias, papa dios.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

on parenting. on parents.

parenting is arguably the most difficult journey I have ever embarked on.

the most rewarding, by far without a doubt. but, the most difficult, emotionally charged, with twists and challenges and obstacles that were not only unforeseen but also unimaginable.

i never imagined coming up against such resistance with my parents - with my mother. i knew we would have different parenting styles, as we also have different realities in which we happen to be parenting. however, i somehow imagined her to be more understanding, more respectful, more loving. and not that she isn't the most loving person to her grandchild, but she is also the person who is antithetical to everything i am trying to instill.

i get it. los padres crian, los abuelos malcrian. "parents raise, grandparents spoil." it is a well-known spanish saying that grandparents look forward to long before the moment when they know if their child even wants to have children. it is that guilt you will have to deal with for the rest of your life if you choose to not to have children. the passive-aggressive, not-so-subtle ribbing about not providing them with their entitlement to spoil - by virtue of having had a child of their own.

i know, i know. most parents do it, you say. parents have hang-ups about a lot of things, and they are not specific to the cuban/hispanic culture, so quit complaining and just ignore it. let it roll off your back. problem is, i am a good child. i grew up the star child. i not only did not misbehave for the most part, but also went to great lengths to cover up any misbehavin' that was happening in order to not disappoint. the image. it's all about the image, right?

ha. that image, and keeping it up, is what has gotten me into a lot of things in life. good, bad, ugly...and you know what? for better or worse, all of those things make me who i am: well-rounded, empathetic, caring, honest, funny, sarcastic, and fully aware of a lot of things that i am fairly adept at feigning ignorance for. i live life less fully than i would like, and it is due to that keeping up appearances.

wait. that is not entirely true. i DO live life fully, for the most part, but i am getting better at that and have worked on it for the last decade. that is the crux of the issue. when i began exerting my independence, when i began separating from the parental nest that had so lovingly raised and dedicated its life to me, i began experiencing some backlash. undeserved backlash. yes, some of it was parenting, and necessary parenting, but so much of it is disagreement with how i choose to live my life. so much of it is blatant expression of that fact that the choices i make are not unique to me - my own choices - but just. plain. WRONG. by virtue of the fact that they are not the same choices that my parents would have made.

i understand not everyone chooses this path. this is the road less traveled. it is not only much easier, but a smoother ride, to simply sit back and do things as they have always been done, just because. to let my parents give my daughter everything she wants, to let her be spoiled completely by them, to - in turn - take the easy route and give in to her whims at every tear that may fall. then, lo and behold, i have raised an entitled child. one that believes life is to be handed to her, one that knows nothing of the value of hard work, is unaware that her choices often come with consequences, however unintended. a child that thinks life is easy, and doesn't have skills to cope when it isn't.

i could argue that i would raise another me, since that is who my parents raised, right? except i wouldn't. they were a family, a nuclear - albeit different since i was adopted - and tight-knit family that did not come without a downside, either. that is another story for another day. but my situation, one in which i have, and probably will never have, no clue about what is happening at her father's house. one in which i fully know she will be spoiled and coddled by her paternal grandparents to the point of it being unhealthy. one in which they are parenting alone, when they are parenting. a life where there are moments, days, weeks, where i will not see my child, hug her, smell her, hold her hand.

...my parents wished for me. they never did anything if i could not come, if i was not included. no date nights, vacations, etc. they openly admit this. it was a wonderful message of belonging, of inclusion, except that it probably contributed to some unhealthy codependence issues. time alone, time apart, time to yourself...it is all a healthy part of growing, nurturing yourself, and developing what will eventually be your own perspective, your own opinions, your individual person. and it wasn't that i wasn't allowed to do that, there were just really specific parameters and messages sent that - although done with the best intentions - i am consciously trying to avoid. and i have a right to do so. i have a right to raise my child in the best way that i see fit, obviously while still respecting her and guiding her and loving her and protecting her.

and this is where we inherently differ. this consistent clashing of heads, where i cannot physically express a boundary for my child without it being challenged, called wrong, pushed so that i eventually give in. or yell i yell a LOT. it is frustrating, it is maddening, and it is exhausting.

i love my parents. i love my mother. but i don't love the guilt, the outright nastiness at times, and the condescension. and what scares me the most is that it has only exacerbated as she gets older. she was never this bad before. she was never outright nasty, name calling, cussing. and the underlying issue is not that i can't deal with trying to ignore this and making my voice heard to her...

...it is that i realize she is changing. aging. mortal.

and, when you've been raised to know that you are your parents' whole life, exerting your independence is a scary thing.

when you've been raised in a codependent family, trying to break away and change those patterns is hard enough, but what happens when you realize they won't always be there? what happens when the relationship that is causing you the most anguish is also the relationship you feel compelled to spend the most time with before it is no longer? and what will you do when that person, that family, is not there?

i know i will get through it. i know i will go on.

but damned if it isn't the scariest thing to think about.